More than just a few: Jewish pilots and aircrew in the Battle of Britain

No attempt has yet been made to describe the part played by Jewish aircrew in the Battle of Britain during that distant, hot summer of 1940. The gen? teel anti-Semitism of the British establishment – and that of other Western societies – has always been subtly keen at best to play down and at worst to ignore completely any Jewish contribution. At the same time this lends understated credibility to the comments of those such as the author Roald Dahl, who alleged that he ‘never saw a Jew in the front line’.

This statement bestows a great responsibility on Jewish historians to dis? pel the racist myths and prove beyond any doubt, through carefully sourced research, that Jews in Britain and other nations have indeed participated in the defence of countries in which they have lived. Furthermore, as I shall show, this participation has frequently been out of proportion to

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